Otto Warmbier's family hid his Jewishness to aid negotiations with North Korea

Otto Warmbier
               CNN Newsource

Otto Warmbier CNN Newsource

A former senior State Department official said the United States had made repeated requests for Warmbier's release on humanitarian grounds under Obama, including via the North Korean mission at the United Nations, via the Swedish mission in Pyongyang, at unofficial talks with North Korean officials involving former USA officials, and via third parties. But officials at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Warmbier was treated after his return, said they had found no trace of the disease, instead saying it appeared he had suffered severe neurological damage, possibly as a result of cardiopulmonary arrest.

"Those who have absolutely no idea about how well we treated Warmbier under humanitarian conditions dare to utter "mistreatment" and "torture", he said according to the official KCNA news agency.

North Korea accepted repeated requests from the present USA administration, the spokesman said, and repatriated the student on humanitarian grounds "in consideration of his bad health".

Otto Warmbier's brother, sister and friends were among the scheduled speakers for the funeral Thursday at a high school in his hometown of Wyoming, near Cincinnati. South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who had advocated talks with the North, said Pyongyang had a "heavy responsibility" in the events leading up to the University of Virginia student's death.

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The deal lay stagnant in the Turkish parliament but was quickly rushed through for approval after the row erupted this month. Gargash said that if Qatar fails to comply within the 10-day timeline set out in the ultimatum, it will be isolated.

In Warmbier's public apology, he said that a friend's mother - who was identified as a deaconess at the Friendship United Methodist Church of Wyoming, Ohio - had offered him a $10,000 auto if he succeeded in taking the poster and would pay his family $200,000 if he were caught.

The KCNA said the North dealt with Mr Warmbier, 22, according to domestic law and worldwide standards.

"South Korea must realise that following psychopath Trump...will only lead to disaster", an editorial carried by the paper said.

The 22-year-old American university student was arrested while visiting North Korea as a tourist, accused of stealing a propaganda poster and sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

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Warmbier was travelling in North Korea with a tour group.

North Korean officials told United States envoys that Warmbier contracted botulism after his trial and lapsed into a coma after taking a sleeping pill. North Korea said he had contracted botulism and that it was releasing him on "humanitarian grounds".

"I'm going over there out of the kindness of my heart just to try to help, and next thing I know, I come back and I'm like, 'Wow, what did I do that was so bad?" he said before breaking down. We jumped up and down...

A separate KCNA article published hours earlier also criticized South Korea for using Warmbier's case to seek the release of other detainees, including six South Korean citizens. They're so happy now, because it's more civilized again. "The North Koreans need to be held to accountable for that". The three men - Kim Dong-chul, Tony Kim and Kim Hak-song - are all ethnic Koreans.

North Korea Claims It's the 'Biggest Victim' in Otto Warmbier's Death
In an interview with "CBS This Morning" earlier this week, just days before he flies to Washington for a summit with U.S. A crowd of some 2,000 people filled a high school auditorium in Otto Warmbier's hometown of OH to celebrate his life.

"To make it clear, we are the biggest victim of this incident and there would be no more foolish judgment than to think we do not know how to calculate gains and losses", the spokesman said.

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